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Morocco Considers F-16C/D Block 50/52 As Part of a $2.4 Package

Following the US proposed sale of advanced F-16C/D aircraft to Morocco, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified the US Congress about the proposed package, which could cost up to $2.4 billion. It is expected that the Moroccans will spend additional budget on weapons and training. This sale is considers as strengthening U.S. support to Morocco and bolstering U.S. efforts to fight terror and insurgency in the Maghreb, as part of its Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). (More...)

Congress that the Moroccans requested the delivery of 24 F-16 C/D Block 50/52 fighters fitted with conformal fuel tanks. The choice of engines has yet to be made, selecting either the F100-PW-229 or F110-GE-129 Increased Performance Engines (IPE) variants. Half the Moroccan F-16s will be fitted with targeting pods. 12 pods are included in the package; either the AN/AAQ-33 SNIPER or AN/AAQ-28 LITENING Targeting Pods are considered.

The avionic suite of these aircraft will include the APG-68(V)9 radar, AN/ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispensing Systems (CMDS) and AN/ALR-56M Radar Warning Receivers (RWR). The selection of electronic countermeasures is yet to be made, Morocco will have to choose between the AN/ALQ-211 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite (AIDEWS), AN/ALQ-187 Advanced Self-Protection Integrated Suites (ASPIS II), or AN/ALQ-178 Self Protection Electronic Warfare Suites (SPEWS). Similar to the Polish F-16s, the Moroccan Falcons could also be delivered with Tactical Air Reconnaissance Systems (TARS) or DB-110 Reconnaissance Pods.

The Moroccan shopping list illustrates their approach to configure some aircraft for mission specific roles. The five reconnaissance pods included in the initial request will be used for tactical recce. Six sets of Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS) could indicate the use of specific aircraft for air defense role. Four of these aircraft could be networked with Link-16 Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminals, AN/ARC-238 Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGAR) radios with HAVE QUICK I/II and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Embedded GPS/ Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) as well as four shipsets of the AN/APX-113 Advanced Identification Friend or Foe (AIFF).

In addition to the 24 jet fighters, the U.S. is offering Morocco 24 Texan T-6B trainers, to replace the aging Cessna T-37 trainers which have been flying for almost half a century. The turboprop powered Texans are expected to save 66% in fuel consumption, compared to the T-37s. The value of the trainers package is expected to be around $200 million.

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